My girl is 5.5 years old. She joined her first school at the age of 2. She started learning those ABCs.. and 123... very soon. Its easy to make them learn letter "A" but, learning all those 25 letters ahead is Herculean task. I used to wonder how will it be possible. It took her 2 years to learn and recognize all letters. These days we don't get any homework from schools so, teaching them at home is totally parent's choice. But, believe me, its required and that's how they learn to listen to what Ma Pa are saying.After learning, reading and writing 26 alphabet it was now turn to learn them as small letters. Kids are smart and if they practice they can learn it too. I used to teach her not just on notebook but by some fun ways too. Teaching and learning ABC is easy as compared to Hindi akshars. In our curriculum Hindi is not taught until U KG or Montessori 3 so, when the little ones are introduced to these hindi letters and strange sounding words, the real challenge starts. Through this write up I want to share few tips which I learnt while teaching my sweety.
Tip 1: Teaching your kid is important. It is more important than earning that money which you will in-turn spend on their learning. Why not go the straight way. If you start teaching your kids, it will have so many advantages: Kids will respect you more, they sometimes get surprised that you already know so much.You will get the peace and satisfaction of teaching them. For any competition or challenge they will seek your help. This teaching session will develop a new kind of relationship between you and your kid. Some mothers prefer house hold chores over teaching their kids, others prefer going out or just working and getting exhausted. But, most important thing is doing this lifetime investment in time. Sometimes both mother and father look at each other for fulfilling this responsibility. Instead, take turns or divide subjects among-st yourself and both of you should be their teachers
Tip 2: Make learning a habit. Dedicate few minutes daily for learning. To teach 1 letter: 10 to 30 minutes are good to spare depending on your child's interests. If we cultivate this old time habit, kids will keep it for rest of their life and will seek to learn new things daily
Tip 3: Teaching your kid just not starts with teaching alphabet or akshars, it is developed as soon as they start walking/coloring/dancing/recognizing colors/shapes or learning pictures or new words. You are the first guru to your child
Tip 4:Parents are the best teachers. I believe this for many reasons. Your kid is closest to you, you know their interests/nature. The tactics to handle them till now. My girl is really sensitive. I cant be harsh on her to learn. That way she wont learn at all instead she'll waste time in crying or seeking my patience and love. So, I have to deal in smiling ways at times ignoring my impatience and irritation.
Tip 5:Be patient with this learning process. They will learn with time. My girl took so long to learn colors, shapes when other kids of same age already knew it. But, now she is the best student of her class
Tip 6: Make learning more of fun. I believe and understand that writing on notebook with a pencil is important. It develops good handwriting. But, in intital years when letter recognition is important please try these fun ways:
1. When you make roti or meals ask your kid to sit on shelf and help you. Spread some flour (atta) on shelf and then ask them to draw letters/akshars on flour
2. When travelling in a car, ask them to draw letters or numbers on misty window panes. They will love it
3. Playing ball or football is are favorite game. I pass the ball and we count. She tells me odd numbers I count the even ones or vice versa. That way she learnt counting
4. Stepping down or stepping up and counting also helps
5. We had a tent house and we decorated it with alphabets and we used to go inside and play and learn
6. While travelling in car, I ask her sounds of all words for the things she sees
7. While shopping I ask her colors or shapes
We cant do it everytime, because that will not be fun. But, sometimes kids enjoy learning this way
Tip 7: Now about hindi akshars. We are punjabis and my girl used to speak in Punjabi when she started talking. Then, we shifted to Gurgaon and it became difficult for her to communicate with teachers. So, we started talking only in Hindi and bit of english. She started talking in Hindi and that helped her in school. Now, she shifted to big school where she had to face daily activities and competitions. She was supposed to talk only in English. We started talking in English and she adapted to that too. Then came Hindi akshars. She was supposed to learn and talk in English. Hey this is not "kainchi" this is scissors. This is not "darwaza", call it door. Ufff...and now suddenly she has to learn "Ka" se Kamal and "Kha" se khargosh. How will she learn. It cant be the old way. We came up with a new method. We taught her a sentence for all akshars. e.g. "Kabootar khargosh gadha ghar se chale gaye aur wo khali ho gaya". "Chachu ne chhatri li aur Jap ne jhanda". And she learnt it easily. I remember when I was small I used to make a picture of each letter in my mind and remember it that way. So, we made a picture in her mind and taught her akshars and it helped. Now the next challenge is to teach her to read and write words and sentences. Lets see how it goes. But, I am sure the pictures which are imprinted in her small mind will remain with her forever. I feel good to have helped her with these smiling ways. I wish the same for you parents too. Happy Parenting :)